So, this is it. One last week of the 2010 Saratoga Race Course race meet and I can feel the dread of the finale on Monday as I write this.
Man, I hate that feeling.
As usual, it all went by so quickly. It feels like only days ago I was writing about the anticipation and pleasures that come from a fresh new start at The Spa complimented by reminders of her interminable traditions.
Fortunately, Saratoga held true to her values of tradition, upsets and longshots. She even played a part or two in making some personal dreams come true. My Stacy and her Runaway Jim played a larger role in that of course.
On July 19 I wrote there isn’t one thing I love most about Saratoga, however there are two things I could not live without.
First, the early mornings, especially when dawn begins to break.
Few people on the streets. A quiet village. The proverbial pitter-patter of hoofs crossing Union Avenue. Just lovely.
The second is juvenile, but no less important. Saratoga allows me to be a kid again.
I used to think I was going to be a jockey. Mom and Dad told me I had no shot. I’d be too big. How in blazes would they know what I was going to be like in 10 years? They couldn’t decide on dinner that night but my future was that clear to them?
Well, once again they were right. At greater than six feet tall and 200-and-don’t-you-worry-about-how-much-more-than-that-pounds, there was no hope of me donning the silks of Calumet Farm.
But maybe it’s time to begin a new tradition?
Yes, the racing season will come to a close. Yes, I am not looking forward to it by any measure.
But the truth is, the race meet would not be the greatest stage in racing, would it, were it not for its surroundings?
This town is so full and rich with history, stories, memories, and incomparable beauty why should it be held to only a six-week stand?
A benefit in moving east after seven years in the Pacific Northwest is the proximity of the most wonderful town in the world. A mere 200 mile drive and I’ve left reality behind and am in heaven on earth.
In a matter of weeks, as the seasons change, these magnificent oaks, elms and maple trees that give us the breath of life will redecorate the foothills of the Adirondacks with the most brilliant colors.
Perhaps a weekend in the end of September or early October would be in order?
Camera in hand, batteries fully charged, and a full tank of gas, it is time to experience Saratoga Springs as I haven’t before. In a more temperate setting, sans traffic jams and throngs of people, when the beauty of autumn returns.
Yes, when the racing season comes to an end on Monday next I will be as disappointed as I always have. But change is good.
Autumn in Saratoga.
A new anticipation.
A new tradition.
A new love for Saratoga Springs, NY.
I can’t help but imagine how beautiful she’ll be.